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A quick look at the Brown Dense


Earlier this year Southwestern Energy, SWN, announced that they have leased 460K net acres for $150M in the emerging unconventional oil play the Lower Smackover Brown Dense formation, aka the Brown Dense.  The formation runs through southern Arkansas and Northern Louisiana and is the source rock for the Upper Smackover fields which have been producing both oil and gas since the 20s.  As you can see below, SWN has outlined several of the fields in the area with their first permitted well in the Atlanta field in AK.Blog-1-Map-1

A quick search in Drillinginfo shows that this well looks to be the Roberson 1-15H and the permit was issued August 25 in Columbia County.  SWN will drill the Roberson this quarter, has plans for a second well in Claiborne Parish, LA in Q4, and expects to drill 10 more wells in 2012 in the play.  A few other tidbits about the Brown Dense according to SWN:

  • Upper Jurassic age, kerogen-rich carbonate
  • Vert. depth 8,000 to 11,000 ft.
  • Thickness 300 to 530 ft.
  • SWN will be targeting high gravity oil window which are believed to be 40 to 55 deg API
  • Porosity from 3% to 10%
  • Anticipated pressure gradient is 0.62 psi/ft (over pressured)

Devon is also exploring the Brown Dense with a recent permit for a vertical well, the Crossett 31 No. 1.  In their latest earnings conference call they mentioned having around 40,000 net acres in the area of the Brown Dense and expect to spud their first horizontal well in the play in the coming months.

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